If there is a singular person responsible for “legitimizing” Donald J. Trump as a presidential contender, some may question whether it’s the man now drawing all the attention for calling the Republican front-runner a “fraud.”
“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace posed the question on Sunday to Mitt Romney, in response to the 2012 Republican presidential nominee criticizing Trump in a speech last week.
After telling Romney that he “had a very different view of [Trump] four years ago when he endorsed you,” Wallace questioned the former Massachusetts governor about what changed.
Romney acknowledged that Trump was “very successful and made a lot of money for himself,” but said you also have to a look at “how many small people he crushed along the way and how many failures he had.”
“A lot of people who endorsed me I wouldn’t endorse for president,” he added.
“It’s not like — Donald Trump — everything you believe he did wrong has happened in the last four years,” Wallace said, before hitting Romney with the birther card.
“A lot of those business failures you talk about happened before 2012,” Wallace noted. “Before 2012, he was making the birther argument that President Obama needed to show his birth certificate because he wasn’t born in the United States. I guess part of the question is, by legitimizing him back then, were you part of the reason he is where he is now?”
Romney responded by highlighting Trump’s recent actions as a presidential candidate.
“Let’s talk about what hasn’t happened or didn’t happen back then and what has happened during this campaign, calling George W. Bush a liar, cozying up to Vladimir Putin and saying he’s a strong leader and popular with his people, equivocating on the Ku Klux Klan, talking about all Muslims as if they’re one monolithic group,” he said. “This is a person who considered Mexican immigrants rapists.”